Talented but tricky three-year-old Regency Bo Bo has tested punters’ patience this season with a string of seconds but Joao Moreira believes blinkers can bring the best out of the Tony Cruz-trained sprinter.
Regency Bo Bo worked his way into Class Three with two early season wins from his first three starts but since then a propensity to miss the start has cost the gelding badly.
The son of Denman has five seconds and a third from his last seven starts and has been beaten as short-priced favourite at his last three with Moreira aboard.
Moreira said getting blinkers on at start 11 of a long campaign could be the key to going one better and breaking through in the HKU Faculty Of Arts Handicap (1,400m).
“I’ve been asking him for two or three starts and I’m so happy he has, I think we will see a better horse on Sunday,” he said.
Of course, there is still the matter of Regency Bo Bo’s bungled starts, an issue that might not be helped by having the headgear on for the first time.
There is a theory that horses often miss the start when wearing blinkers for the first time on raceday, and although Moreira isn’t a believer, he is still wary of Regency Bo Bo’s difficulties in the gates.
“He is a very tricky horse, hard to ride as well, he can sit in the gates, but if he can get right on the day he should be winning,” he said. “He can be silly, but obviously he is very talented and we just need him to put it all together on the day.”
Moreira is siding with youth on Sunday, with six three-year-olds among his 10 rides, including to having first starts for Chris So Wai-yin, Ocean Elite and Master Albert.
Ocean Elite contests the Class Four HKU Faculty Of Architecture Handicap (1,000m) after four trials, three of them with Moreira, who gave a straightforward and overwhelmingly positive assessment of the horse’s chances.
“His trials have been fantastic, his last gallop was very good and I am confident he can be winning first-up,” he said.
A wide draw on the C course has thrown a spanner in the works for Master Albert in the Class Three HKU Faculty Of Science Handicap (1,200m).
Master Albert won two-from-two in Australia and has showed some speed in trials, his effort at Happy Valley in May particularly impressive.
The draw leaves Moreira and So with decisions to make tactically, but it would seem the prospect would be taken back from the draw.
“He is very talented,” Moreira said. “In his trial at Happy Valley, he led, but in his wins in Australia he came from behind. We will talk with Chris and see what he wants to do.”
Moreira has three rides for premier trainer John Size, led by another smart three-year-old, Beat The Clock, in the Class Two Hong Kong University Alumni Association Challenge Cup (1,400m).
“There are plenty of ratings left in him, he has come a long way to get where he is at the moment but I can still see him going even further,” Moreira said.